“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 Jn. 3:1
If you had a kind, loving father who played with you, who told you he was proud of you at every stage of your growing up years and said you were beautiful, then Father’s Day might be a day you enjoy celebrating. But maybe this holiday brings up more pain than you are willing to face and now that you have your own family, you desire something different for your children.
How about simply beginning with taking the time and effort to celebrate the dad in your home? I used to think that having family traditions were not worth the effort required but I was wrong. Creating family traditions that build bonds and connectedness is foundational to having a healthy and thriving family. And Father’s Day is a perfect opportunity to create a legacy of honoring the men in our lives. It’s worth the time and effort to make this year’s Father’s Day one he and the family will remember.
Here are five ideas to help you build a new legacy in your family.
1. Thanking and honoring him on Father’s Day
One of the easiest and most meaningful ways to celebrate the father of your offspring is to express your love and gratitude for all that he’s done right for your family. Grab a sheet of paper and just start writing what comes to mind. Some obvious things may be:
- His hard work to provide for the family
- How he takes time to play with the kids
- Maintaining the home — mowing the yard and taking the trash out
- The way he shares his faith with others
- For the little treats he brings home
- Making sure the cars run well
You get the idea, right? To make it even more special, make time to say these things aloud in front of your kids on Father’s Day.
I grew up in a home where there was not a lot of affirmation or honor expressed. So doing something like this does not come naturally for me. It’s often easier for me to voice the negative things that I don’t like than it is to say the good and positive things my hubby does.
2. Have the kids make a Father’s Day card or DIY craft.
I love this craft idea where the kids list their own reasons they love Dad and it’s what we are doing in our home this year. One year for Father’s Day, one of my kiddos drew a picture of our family where she is being tossed into the above ground pool in our yard by her Dad while I’m sitting in the lounge chair drinking coffee. Her siblings are standing by.
I always cringe when I see my husband doing something like this because I think the kids will get hurt (And sometimes they do but nothing too serious.) But the kids love it when their Dad plays with them.
3. Fill up his love tank in whatever love language best speaks to him.
Now we all know what love language all men speak — it’s how we ended up with the offspring after all. But besides that, your man must have a love language that means more than the others. In our home it’s touch and acts of service as described in the book, The 5 Love Languages (affiliate link) by Gary Chapman.
4. Plan a special Father’s Day feast
The old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” still stands true. And a little planning in this area can go a long way. Prepare his favorite meal with dessert. In our home we will be having a cookout — and Dad will be grilling his favorite steaks while I make his favorite side dish, which this year includes grilled veggies and a salad.
We could order out which would make my day, but my money saving husband will feel more honored and loved if we prep the meal and save the money otherwise spent. Having the kids help out with the set up and clean up will make it even more special.
5. Honor his father and yours by remembering or connecting with them.
Make sure you take time to honor your hubby’s father and your own. My husband’s father passed away nearly 17 years ago and I only got to meet him once before he did. But I know it blesses my husband when I talk about his Dad in a positive way. They did not have the best of relationships, but I treasure the way my husband was able to reconcile and love his father to the very end.
I’m blessed to still have my Dad and this year after being away overseas for 18 years, I will get to be with the two most important men in my life. I’m thankful for the healing in my relationship with my Dad. I’ve had to forgive and let go of hurt and expectations and accept that in this fallen world — we will all fall short.
But I’m learning to see the beauty in the imperfection and messiness in my family and myself. More than that, I’ve circled back to the eternal truth that only my Heavenly Father can fill the God-sized hole in my heart.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”1 Jn. 3:1
He is a Father who will never let us down, who cherishes us and calls us His beloved daughter. And when I know that in my heart — when I truly know that in the depths of my heart, I can honor the fathers in my life.
How about you friend? What are some of your family traditions around Father’s Day?
Linking up with the Five Minute Friday writing community this week where we write for 5 minutes on a word prompt. For better or worse, I always go past five minutes.